Harlequin Caught Napping

Wouldn’t you have just HATED to be in the staff meeting after Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series exploded? They’re playing catch-up now, with Harlequin launching its own line of teen romances, Harlequin Teen (it’s a short article, go ahead and click the link):

Harlequin is feeling like a kid again. The 60-year-old publisher of classic bodice-rippers is rolling out its newest imprint: Harlequin Teen.

“These books specifically focus on teen protagonists, which is not something Harlequin has done a whole lot of,” says the publisher’s Natashya Wilson.

Add Harlequin to the list of publishers that have fallen hard for teen readers, thanks to the seismic sales of Stephenie Meyer’s teen vampire series “Twilight.”

Yet more proof that the publishing industry is out of touch and disconnected.

Other publishers  including HarperTeen and Razorbill are already benefiting from the growing hunger for teen romances laced with supernatural and paranormal elements.

I think there’s a lesson to be learned here. People, whether young adults, or full-grown adults, never seem to tire of these paranormal storylines, no matter what the industry thinks. I had to go look up Meyer’s books to see who she did publish with (looks like it was Little, Brown). I have to wonder if she submitted elsewhere and was rejected by an unpaid intern…

14 thoughts on “Harlequin Caught Napping

  1. It’s just funny how they’re all jumping on the bandwagon now. They always say not to try to write what’s hot right now, because you never know what will be the thing in a few months. Then they get one runaway hit, and all publishers want to copy it. I guess if you’re lucky enough to have already submitted something similar they’ll take the opportunity to trot it out and run with it. Kind of makes me wonder how many books get rejected simply because they’re not the ‘it’ thing when they happen to be submitted.

    I’m not into the romance thing either, but ghoulies and ghosties and such always got my attention, all the way back to the Nancy Drew mysteries I read when I was 9!


  2. I like a good creepy ghost story, too. What I’m getting out of THIS story, again, is that just b/c people aren’t reading the classics doesn’t mean they don’t want to read SOMETHING, and that something’s better than nothing. Even Harlequins are better than reality TV, IMO.


  3. The only reality show I ever enjoyed watching when I was back in the States was “The Amazing Race”. But then, I never thought of it as a reality show. To me, it’s an adventure game show. I loved watching them race around the world.

    The others are just blech!


    1. That’s probably the only way to look at them all, as game shows. There’s nothing “real” about them, they’re all scripted. I’ll spare you the rest of my rant on these things! LOL


      1. Since we’ve been talking about the late Donald Westlake (you guys didn’t miss it: Didge & I were talking about it in a different medium,) you’ll love to know that his most recently released novel, “Get Real,” is a funny little satire about a bunch of professional thieves who get roped into filming a heist for a crappy reality show. I’m about a third of the way thru and hilarity is definitely beginning to ensue.


  4. It will be interesting to see how this flies and how Harlequin plans to market it. And if the teens will buy into the Harlequin line. When I go to the bookstore and peruse the YA section there already seems to be TONS of YA paranormal romances and paranormal books already out there.


    1. What I’m burned out on is the sword-n-sorcery fantasy books. After LOTR I was pretty much ruined for any others 😉 Honestly, do we really need one more series about an enchanted sword and princesses and elves? I’m looking to mine the mythology of other cultures besides the Celts (not that I don’t love and adore my own heritage).

      I think paranormal stories are going to be around for quite some time, with tv shows like “Supernatural,” “Ghost Whisperer” and so on being so popular. It’s all tied to our fear of death and wanting to know there’s something beyond this life, which evidence of ghosts and such would prove, hence the eternal appeal.


      1. A True Confession: all that princess bullshit tends to chap my feminist ass. How come it always seems to be the males w/the swords and the princesses in distress? Have I not read far enough – are there any ass-whupping princesses, or female commoners, for that matter?


      2. There probably are some kick-ass princesses, but off the top of my head I can’t name any other than Eowyn in LOTR. Pretty much if I pick up a book and the back blurb includes the words “princess” and “elves” or “dwarves,” “dragons,” and so on, I set the book back on the shelf. Akshully, I’m worse than that. If I see any of those items on the cover, I move right along.


  5. There are strong princesses. Enchanted Forest Chronicles series — I always thought Cimorene was a pretty kick-ass princess.

    There is Beauty too, my favorite Fairy Tale princess because she was one of the few in the role of the rescuer and not the rescued.

    And, of course, Scheherazade of the Arabian Nights. Although not a princess by birth but still a minister’s daughter and a King’s wife who uses intelligence and wit as her weapon.

    I am trying to think of any others — I wrote a fairy tale when I was young with a princess named Lotts who had to rescue her prince who kept getting into predicaments and whined. It got laughs but I thought it was a good take on a fairy tale. Had completely forgotten about it but this reminded me. I will look for that story and put it up on my blog if I can find it.


  6. I haven’t seen Beauty & the Beast but it’s my brother’s fave, mostly, he says, because she doesn’t take any crap. Sheherezade rocks, of course – she’s an important example of the storyteller’s ability to make history: both her own and that of others.


  7. If you’re talking about the old tv series, it was awesome (until they killed off Katherine). In the classic fairy tale I think Beauty was a little more girly, the ‘good’ daughter who sacrificed herself to help her family (specifically, save her father).


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